By Jesse Wanskasmith
March 15th, 2017
In the last issue of The Mountain, I wrote about ‘The Sign of Revelation 12 Occurring in the Skies Above Us.’ This article delves into what some have long understood to be the pre-tribulation Rapture in Revelation 12:5 and how the heavenly sign is just one sign of many that mark the Fall Feasts of 2017 as something extraordinary. Much of this information has been lost to the Church including the importance of the Fall Feasts and how Old Testament law relates to what God has planned for End-Times. Be courageous and read on!
Acts 2:19 (Interlinear) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.
What is the Rapture?
The Rapture is a removal of True Righteous Believers from Earth by God to preserve these Christians from Satan’s wrath during the Great Tribulation (Rev 12:12). It is an unscheduled undisclosed event when Jesus comes half-way to Earth to meet his Church in the air.
1 Thes 4:15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
We are told in 1st Corinthians that “in the blink of an eye” we will be transformed from our earthly bodies to our heavenly bodies and be brought up into Heaven.
1 Cor 15:50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Dr. Mike Svigel, an associate professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, in a 2013 interview on My Digital Seminary, commented on the Revelation 12:5 “Snatched up” reference, “The word in Revelation 12:5 is the word for “rapture,” harpazo, and always means a sudden removal, a snatching. In contrast, for the ascension of Christ, the New Testament uses terms such as “to be lifted up,” epairo (Acts 1:9), “to ascend,” anabaino (John 20:17; Ephesians 4:8-10) and “to take up,” analambano (Mark 16:19; Luke 1:11). These are neutral terms meaning a removal from one place to another.
John 14:3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
Does God plan to have his children live through the Tribulation?
John 3:18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
This is hard question to address as it has many interpretations that often divide the Church. Some ministries such as Morning Star ministries are preparing for coming hard times, but are we truly being called to prepare for the judgements described in Revelation? Of all the recorded dreams and prophetic warnings received by believers, the vast majority of them have NOT called for individuals to prepare large quantities of food, shelter, backup power or cords of wood to survive some upcoming global cataclysm. Christian faith has an added value of spiritual protection and God has plans to keep his followers from enduring this judgement as long as they keep the narrow path toward him. Let’s examine this in detail.
There are two trains of thought regarding the Rapture that are discussed here:
- The Church will live through part or all of the Tribulation and that Righteous believers will be Raptured sometime after it begins. During this time, a supernatural protection will be granted to those (Rev 7:3). This is the ‘Preservation Through’ theory.
- That Righteous Believers will be “snatched away” prior to the Anti-Christ global authority. This is the ‘Rescue-From’ theory. 1st Thes 1:10 and Jer 30:7 both support the argument that God will offer a protection in some form or another from these judgements.
1 Thes 1:10 (NLT) And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
1 Thes 1:10 (Last sentence, direct translation) Deliver [Rhoumai #4506] us [Hemas #2248] of separation of a part from the whole [Apo #575] anger, wrath, indignation [Orge #3709].
Jeremiah 30:7 (Interlinear) Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
The Jeremiah verse talks about deliverance from this time of Jacobs Trouble. The word saved means Yasha` “to be liberated, be saved, be delivered”, Strongs word #3467.
Dr. Mike Svigel, commented on the judgement in 1st Thes and if that applies to pre-tribulationists theology, “I see a lot of strength in passages that promise rescue from coming wrath tied to the coming of Christ (1 Thes 1:9-10) and in the context of the Rapture (1 Thes 5:9), but also in the promise of being kept from the hour of testing in Revelation 3:10 and Peter’s reminder that, based on God’s past pattern of rescuing his righteous from judgment prior to pouring out his wrath (in the cases of Noah and Lot), He will rescue the godly from trial (2 Peter 2:6).”
It’s important to note that the Tribulation includes wrath attributed to both Satan and God and that both maybe present at any given time. McHyde identifies in a 2010 article, “Would God Allow His Bride to Go Through the Great Tribulation” that after only the 7th Trumpet is when, “God’s wrath picks up where Satan’s wrath let off.” Citing Revelation 15:1 and 1 Cor 15:52, McHyde makes the claim that only immediately prior to God’s wrath, will the Rapture come.
1 Thes 5:9 (HCSB) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
Rev 12:12 (interlinear) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Revelation 11:18 (NLT) The nations were filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come. It is time to judge the dead and reward your servants the prophets, as well as your holy people, and all who fear your name, from the least to the greatest. It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth. (Click to Article)